Games Art students’ Hanging Gardens of Babylon walkthrough is screened in Westminster – and by US media giant

Date 13.03.2019

A University of Northampton project which has breathed life into one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World has gained recognition in Westminster – and been featured on a programme from the United States’ largest international broadcaster.

Games Art students at the University spent two years creating a 3D virtual reality walkthrough of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which were believed to have been built around 600 BC, but there is no evidence that the gardens ever existed.

The computer model was based on research into the gardens by Oxford University’s Dr Stephanie Dalley, author of The Mystery of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced.

You can view the walkthrough below.

Dr Dalley and a team from Northampton were invited by chair of the Middle East charity AMAR Foundation, Baroness Nicholson, to elaborate on the research at a special event held at the Palace of Westminster.

The occasion was also covered by Voice of America News, for a feature on the students’ project – watch the report here.

Representing the University at the Westminster event were Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology, John Sinclair, and Faculty Research and Innovation Leader, Dr Ali Al Sherbaz, who said: “It was an honour to be invited by Baroness Nicholson to present the walkthrough in the House of Lords, and also we are delighted to work closely with the AMAR Foundation and the IBBC team to produce such a successful event.”

Dr Al Sherbaz revealed the next stage for the walkthrough project is to develop a 30-minute documentary based on the golden era of Babylon.

He said: “The documentary will mainly rely on a digital version of the ancient city. This will take the perspective of a virtual reality character flying on a magic carpet around the city, providing the viewer with both an entertaining and informative experience through living an ordinary day in domestic environment of the city, walking in the streets, passing landmarks like Ashtar Gate, visiting local businesses, and witnessing habits, customs, and the lifestyles of the ancient people of Babylon.

“To document the city and its life aspects as accurately as possible, we will be relying on evident historical facts and the help of a team of archaeologists as much as we can.

“This film might open further possibilities of building virtual heritage site through an application on smartphone using augmented reality.”